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YouTube Goes Big-Time Mobile

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2:00 PM -- Mobile video has hit a tipping point. YouTube Inc. has made its entire catalogue available on its m.youtube.com mobile site. For a slicker interface, there's a downloadable Java app to go with it.

While a YouTube mobile beta site has been online for some time, only limited, hand-picked content has been available for anyone other than iPhone users. Now it's opened it up to the masses by making content available in the 3GP video format supported by vast numbers of phones in every part of the world.

I played with it a bit over the weekend and, honestly, on first take it's amazing... kind of like a mobile jukebox, with video. All for free.

Granted, I'm running the latest Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) N95 8GB device, with fast 3G and WLAN, on a 3-GByte/month data plan. And I know my way around the Symbian Ltd. /S60 operating system (not for the faint-hearted). And sure, there are all those niggling copyright issues to consider. (See Do You Hate YouTube? and Viacom Sues Google for $1B.)

But from an ordinary user point of view, it's still plenty entertaining. Certainly, it's easier to use than some of the nerdily impressive hacks like emTube that I had been experimenting with.

Switching it around to consider the impact on the 3G network, it's this kind of application that makes clear why some operators saw their average daily data traffic increase eightfold in 2007. Who'd bet against that accelerating in 2008?

— Gabriel Brown, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

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